NHL Picks: Add Bruins Moneyline To Your Winning Hockey Ticket Tonight

Dana Lane

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

With six games to go the Boston Bruins can still catch the Atlantic Division leaders with a strong finish but it must start tonight. 

The good news is the Boston Bruins control their own destiny, the bad is of the remaining opponents on their schedule only Ottawa is officially out.  Even the Devils at 36-32-8 are still mathematically in the playoff race even at a distant seven points behind. With a sixth straight loss to Boston, New Jersey would be eliminated. 

The Bruins are clearly more comfortable playing on East Coast rinks after scoring on six times in a five game skid that saw them lose their grip on the Atlantic Division.  Their 3-1 must-win, against Toronto snapped that streak solidifying their third automatic playoff spot with a likely first round match-up with either Florida or Tampa Bay. 

Boston's win against the Leafs was especially encouraging for a power play unit that has carried Boston for most of the season ranking seventh in the league with a 20.8% success rate but failing score in any of their five losses. To see one of the leagues best special teams unit get back on track by getting two power play goals bodes well for the Bruins. This can be seen reflected in the NHL odds for the game.

Their success on the power play starts with the face-off circle.  Patrice Bergeron is one of the best face-off men in the league winning over 57% of his draws.  We saw a prime example of perfect power play execution with their second period goal against Toronto. Bergeron wins a clean draw then immediately forms a shooting lane between the shooter, himself, and winger Matt Belesky who drops down to position himself for a rebound in front of Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier. Belesky gets excellent position because Leafs defensemen, Martin Marincin decides to leave Belesky to cut off a shooting angle from the opposite side of the ice.  The Bruins wall of Bergeron and Belesky will rotate from side to side with the idea of shielding opposing goaltenders. When you watch the key is Bergeron's top spot on the wall because he will be used to create space for the wingers. One dump into the middle collapses the penalty killers, which in this case collapsed three Leaf defenders allowing one simple pass back out to create a shot.  Once the shot is taken you will see both Belesky and Bergeron drive to the net in hopes of a rebound.  This play was executed perfectly against the Leafs which is why Boston finally was able to find the win column

From a trend perspective the Bruins have always fared well against poor teams going 82-39 against teams with a losing record. Before you say the Devils have a winning record remember that we count overtime and shootout losses as actual losses that are not reflected that way in the standings. 

New Jersey seems to have trouble with quality road teams at home as they have dropped 13 of their last 19 games against teams with a road win percentage of .600 or greater.  Tonight the Devils face one of the better road teams playing on a comfortable East Coast surface.  

Price is a little high here but Boston is the NHL pick for today.

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Free NHL Pick:  Bruins -147
Best Line Offered:  at 5Dimes


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